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The Orphan or, The Unhappy Marriage   By: (1652-1685)

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First Page:

[Illustration]

THE ORPHAN; OR, The Unhappy Marriage.

A TRAGEDY, IN FIVE ACTS.

BY THOMAS OTWAY.

CORRECTLY GIVEN, AS PERFORMED AT THE THEATRES ROYAL. With Remarks.

[Illustration]

London: Printed by D. S. Maurice, Fenchurch street;

SOLD BY

T. HUGHES, 35, LUDGATE STREET; J. BYSH, 52, PATERNOSTER ROW; & J. CUMMING, DUBLIN.

REMARKS.

To the great merit of Miss O'Neil, in Monimia , we are indebted for the revival of this tragedy, which was originally played at the Duke's Theatre, in 1680; and long kept possession of the stage. The language of this play is poetical and tender, and the incidents affecting; but, amidst many beauties, there is great inconsistency[1].

Dr. Johnson observes, "This is one of the few pieces that has pleased for almost a century, through all the vicissitudes of dramatic fashion. Of this play, nothing new can easily be said. It is a domestic tragedy, drawn from middle life: its whole power is upon the affections; for it is not written with much comprehension of thought, or elegance of expression. But, if the heart is interested, many other beauties may be wanting; yet not be missed."

[1] Many readers will, probably, exclaim with the critic, when he first saw it, "Oh! what an infinite deal of mischief would a farthing rush light have prevented!"

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

Drury Lane, 1780. Covent Garden, 1815. Castalio Mr. Reddish Mr. C. Kemble. Acasto Mr. Packer Mr. Egerton. Polydore Mr. Brereton Mr. Conway. Chaplain Mr. Usher Mr. Chapman. Ernesto Mr. Wrighten Mr. Jefferies. Page Master Pulley Miss Prescott. Chamont Mr. Smith Mr. Young.

Serina Miss Platt Miss Boyce. Florella Mrs. Johnston Mrs. Seymour. Monimia Miss Younge Miss O'Neil.

SCENE Bohemia.

THE ORPHAN.

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE I. A GARDEN.

Enter Castalio, Polydore, and Page.

Cas. Polydore, our sport Has been to day much better for the danger: When on the brink the foaming boar I met, And in his side thought to have lodg'd my spear, The desperate savage rush'd within my force, And bore me headlong with him down the rock.

Pol. But then

Cas. Ay, then, my brother, my friend, Polydore, Like Perseus mounted on his winged steed, Came on, and down the dang'rous precipice leap'd To save Castilio. 'Twas a godlike act!

Pol. But when I came, I found you conqueror. Oh! my heart danc'd, to see your danger past! The heat and fury of the chase was cold, And I had nothing in my mind but joy.

Cas. So, Polydore, methinks, we might in war Rush on together; thou shouldst be my guard, And I be thine. What is't could hurt us then? Now half the youth of Europe are in arms, How fulsome must it be to stay behind, And die of rank diseases here at home!

Pol. No, let me purchase in my youth renown, To make me lov'd and valu'd when I'm old; I would be busy in the world, and learn, Not like a coarse and useless dunghill weed, Fix'd to one spot, and rot just as I grow.

Cas. Our father Has ta'en himself a surfeit of the world, And cries, it is not safe that we should taste it. I own, I have duty very pow'rful in me: And though I'd hazard all to raise my name, Yet he's so tender, and so good a father, I could not do a thing to cross his will.

Pol. Castalio, I have doubts within my heart, Which you, and only you, can satisfy. Will you be free and candid to your friend?

Cas. Have I a thought my Polydore should not know? What can this mean?

Pol. Nay, I'll conjure you too, By all the strictest bonds of faithful friendship, To show your heart as naked in this point, As you would purge you of your sins to heav'n. And should I chance to touch it near, bear it With all the suff'rance of a tender friend.

Cas. As calmly as the wounded patient bears The artist's hand, that ministers his cure.

Pol. That's kindly said. You know our father's ward, The fair Monimia: is your heart at peace? Is it so guarded, that you could not love her?

Cas... Continue reading book >>




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